One of the annoying things about a Nitro RC car is the expensive fuel. I was happy to learn that the unleaded Petrol car is a great alternative with cheaper running costs. In this article I will explain the benefits and compare to a Nitro RC car.
What is an unleaded petrol remote control car? It is petrol powered RC car that runs on a petrol and 2-stroke oil mix. It is a powerful vehicle with long runtimes (up to 50 minutes) and cheaper running costs than a Nitro RC car. However, it typically has a bigger scale size and price than an electric RC car has.
Let me now explain why so many people love these unleaded RC cars as well as the pros and cons they offer, especially when compared to a Nitro RC car.
Why do So many people love Unleaded RC Cars?
As discussed, as you can imagine it is an RC car that pretty much runs on unleaded Petrol, no surprises there then, right?
But the beauty of the Unleaded RC car is the fact that it does not need the expensive nitro oil, that its rival uses. Instead you can simply mix it with Two stroke oil and you are done. The beauty of this combination is that it is freely available from most petrol stations or gas stations.
Not just the fact that it is freely available, it is the fact that is actually cheaper than running a Nitro car. But more on this later on in the article.
What the differences between an a Nitro and Petrol RC Car?
Let me now explain the differences between a Nitro car (Click to see one of the best on Amazon) and a petrol car that is running unleaded. Lets start with the Nitro car:
Nitro RC Car
The fuel used in Nitro cars, that I briefly explained earlier is a combination as well, however it is more of an expensive combination. In particular it uses Nitromethane, methanol and also oil.
From this I am sure you guessed where the name “Nitro” Car came from, right? Obviously it’s from the Nitromethane that is used in the potent mix.
The Nitro Glow Plug
One of the key components used in the Nitro car is the Glow plug. It requires a battery to power the glow ignitor. This battery is used to heat the coil on the glow ignitor. Mostly you will find that these batteries are rechargeable and tend to come packed in the kit provided.
You only really need this battery operated glow igniter to start the Nitro car. Once you start that baby up, you are fine to continue racing that bad boy.
Nitro Car Fuel
The Nitro Car Fuel, as discussed earlier, is a combination of nitromethane and methanol. It can usually be purchased in shops that sell the RC cars or even hobby based shops.
The Nitromethane is approx thirty percent of the mix, twelve percent is oil and the rest is methane. So as you can see the majority of the mix is really methane, but for some reason it has adopted the name of “Nitro”, maybe thats because it sounds more cool?
The Petrol RC Car
As discussed earlier, the petrol cars use a combination of unleaded petrol and two-stroke oil to get started.
The mix of unleaded and two-stroke oil is usually in a specified ratio to keep the mix more consistent and reliable. Usually you can expect this to be anything from 30 or even 25:1.
They do not have a need for Glow plug. Instead of this they use a spark plug. The beauty of this is you don’t need to mess around with the glow plug to get it started, it is dealt with internally in the engine.
What are the disadvantages of the Nitro RC Car?
Now I will explain some of the disadvantages of the Nitro RC car. Not to say it is bad, just so you know the full picture about both of these vehicles.
Their is a lot of Maintenance
When you use a Nitro car, there is a lot of maintenance to consider. Unfortunately it not a plug and play type of car. If you are looking for that you are better off with an electric car. Just to put this into perspective, let me explain some of the things that you will need to consider if you want to race these cars, or even be a casual user:
- Pre-and after checks for every run
- Apply after-run oil after each run
- Check, clean & oil the air filter
- Tune the vehicle: Adjust the Carb basically
- General cleaning of any excess oil during racing
- Checking and adjusting screws. These may come loose from time-to time.
- Miscellaneous issues that occur, almost for know known reason
- Ongoing costs for fuel, and other parts that may go wrong.
This is just an idea, and not an exhaustive list. Keep in mind, you may be the type that absolutely love cars and may even call yourself a “petrol head”. If thats you, will love this. If on the other hand you are a novice, forget it, you need to start with something more basic.
Advantages of a Petrol Unleaded RC Car
Let me explain the main advantages of an unleaded RC Car now. The first benefit is the reliability, these cars are great for this. In addition to this they have really great run times.
If you have ever used an electric car you will know how annoying it can be to run out of juice 15-20 minutes in a race.With these petrol cars you can expect 40 or even 50 minutes of solid run-time.
Pure Grunt & Power
If you like pure power and a throaty exhaust, then these are for you. They have some really good power output.
Whilst they still need some maintenance, there is not as much required when compared to a Nitro Car. The chances of them overheating is significantly less than the nitro cars. Also you won’t need to tune them up as much as the Nitro Cars.
One of the great benefits is the cheaper fuel, when in comparison to a Nitro RC car. There is still cost but a lot cheaper. To put this into perspective for a litre of Nitro oil you are talking in the region of $17. However the unleaded petrol & 2-stroke oil mix will cost you approx $2 a litre, big difference!
Disadvantages of an Unleaded Petrol Car
One of the biggest disadvantages of the unleaded Petrol car is the sheer size. Most of the cars available are 1/5 scale. This is still quite big. This sized vehicle has a knock-on effect with their pricing. Meaning you will struggle to pick one up for ultra cheap. They are more for serious drivers that have the budget and interest.
Are there any after run maintenance that you should do for a Petrol car? Yes, you should really drain the fuel tank after you use it. This is to improve the life of you car and engine. It may be tempting to leave it as is, until your next race, but this could cost you in the future. So Ideally you need to drain it down after usage for best results.